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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Quick release plate adapter to mount a "red dot" (reflector/reflex) sight to a spotting scope (1 Viewer)

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi everyone,

After designing a couple of different solutions for mounting a reflex sight on a (Kowa 883) spotting scope, I've tried something new now and decided to create a mount that is part of the quick release plate rather than mounted directly to the scope.

The challenge with designing a reflex sight mounting for the Kowa is to find a feature that allows the sight to be locked stable directionally without interfering with the stay-on case.

The foot of the Kowa provides such a reference feature, so here is the new solution:

Velbon QB6RL NATO V2.png Velbon QB6RL NATO V2 flipside.png

Velbon Kowa NATO Adapter.jpg

The main design ideas:

  • The recess in the top plate accurately matches the forward/rear edges of the Kowa foot to asure directional alignment. (I felt this was more reliable and more robust than video-camera style aligning pins.)
  • Dividing the quick release plate into an upper and lower part allows changing of the lower part for a different style, for example an Arca-Swiss type plate.
  • The separate arm can fold over 90 degrees for easier transportation of the adapter when carried separate of the scope. However, the main purpose of the folding hinge is to allow the sight to fold away and rest on the stay-on case when the scope is stowed away and squeezed in tight, as otherwise the long lever arm of the mounting will potentially cause it to crack and fail. (It also allows easy mounting of differently sized arms so I can experiment with the ergonomics of the solution.)
  • I've not managed to design a perfectly symmetric adapter, which is sort of difficult because the Kowa's tripod thread is not centered in the foot, so simply flipping it around is not going to work. Accepting this, I've moved the arm fairly far forward to make it easier to reach the Kowa's clamp arresting screw (or whatever it's called),which is located on the right hand side close to the scope's foot. (Most people are right-eye dominant, so that's why I decided on a right hand mount. It would only take a few minutes to derive a left-hand mount, though.)
  • The arm is not held in the open position by a spring, but by friction. I think this is going to be entirely practical, but I've yet to try it in the field.

Regards,

Henning
 

JerryLogan

Well-known member
Well that is very clever indeed Henning! I’m sure you’ve noticed that the upper plate can be customized for a variety of scopes (and even binocular mounts). A very good generalization from the Kowa focus with applications in astronomy as well as birding. Very nicely done.

Very best,
Jerry
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi Jerry,

Well that is very clever indeed Henning! I’m sure you’ve noticed that the upper plate can be customized for a variety of scopes (and even binocular mounts). A very good generalization from the Kowa focus with applications in astronomy as well as birding. Very nicely done.

Thanks a lot! :)

You're in fact entirely correct that different scopes can be acommodated with different upper plates, but my impression is that the dimensions of the various scopes' feet are not usually published (because normally, people aren't too interested in these). So, to design a different upper plate, I'd probably have to get my hands on that scope, or ask someone owning that scope for a sketch at least.

Your post inspired me to consider mounting my Nikon ED50 to the same plate, though - if the Nikon's foot is all-around smaller than the Kowa's foot, it should be possible to design an insert for the "Kowa" upper plate that locks the Nikon into aligment :)

By the way, did you already give my older adapter design a try? If not, maybe you'll like the newer on better ... I'm planning on publishing it on Thingiverse as soon as I've got it tested and the bugs worked out.

Regards,

Henning
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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